Sign Up for
Google Alerts!

content headlines
sent out every day
email us to sign up





Latest Column:
Stopping the Meltdown
What Beltway Republicans Need To Do

opinon in
Reagan country



Jon Fleischman’s
The premier source for
California political news


Michael Ramirez
editorial cartoon


Do your part to do right by our troops.
They did the right thing for you.
Donate Today




tOR Talk Radio
Contributor Sites
Laura Ingraham

Hugh Hewitt
Eric Hogue
Sharon Hughes
Frank Pastore
[Radio Home]



Carol Platt Liebau - Columnist

Carol Platt Liebau is editorial director and a senior member of tOR and CRO editorial boards. She is an attorney, political analyst and commentator based in San Marino, CA, and has appeared on the Fox News Channel, MSNBC, CNN, Orange County News Channel, Cox Cable and a variety of radio programs throughout the United States. A graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School, Carol Platt Liebau also served as the first female managing editor of the Harvard Law Review. Her web log can be found at [go to Liebau index]

From “Crossing the Bar” to Crossing a Line
The Netherlands’ Groningen Protocols Are a Grisly Human Nightmare
[Carol Platt Liebau] 12/6/04

One of the most beautiful poems ever written about death, Crossing the Bar, was penned by Alfred, Lord Tennyson in 1889, three years before his own demise.

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness or farewell,
When I embark;

For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.

As the poem makes plain, there can be something noble and even beautiful about a death that comes in God’s own time, after a life well lived. But there is nothing peaceful or holy about death these days for some in The Netherlands. Only recently has the world learned of the Groningen Protocols – a policy allowing children up to age 12 to be euthanized if an “independent” committee of doctors determines that a child’s condition is terminal and the situation otherwise warrants it. Note this horrifying fact: The wishes of the child’s parents would be considered, but are not determinative, reported by The Grand Forks Herald.

What does this mean? Well, in the Netherlands, theoretically at least, sick children can be murdered against their own wishes and those of their parents. Whether one is pro-life or pro-choice, this news is shocking; it is the first time that any Western society has condoned the killing of infants after they have been born. Indeed, it is a profoundly frightening development when the power of death over innocent life is handed to “independent boards” or to government.

From time immemorial, in the very small proportion of cases where little ones suffer from terrible, incurable pain in the final stages of a terminal disease, doctors and parents have agonized together, and then struggled to determine the most compassionate and humane course. But here, a precedent is being formulated whereby life-and-death decisions are delegated to an impersonal board. And once this concept is condoned in any guise, it becomes that much easier for it to be extended to more and more and more people – the sickly, the burdensome, the weak. Suddenly, we’re back in the world of Nazi Germany – where only the strong, the robust and the fit, as determined by the government or other authorities, are deemed worthy to live.

It would be naïve to assume that cost plays no part in any of this. The Netherlands – like most of Europe and Canada – is a bastion of socialized medicine. It’s not hard to imagine that these “independent boards” could come under significant pressure to find that a particular patient’s hope of recovery and quality of life is, to put it delicately, inversely proportional to the cost of his or her care. And so, here in America, when the Democrats or anyone else extol the virtues of a “European” or “Canadian” (read: socialist) health care system, remember: If everyone must pay for your care, it seems only reasonable that everyone gets a say in whether you’re treated (or not).

It’s been reported that in the Netherlands, when they check into hospitals, elderly people have begun to carry with them written appeals that they not be euthanized. A Dutch court recently declined to punish a doctor who had injected an elderly woman with fatal drugs – even though she had specifically stated that she did not want to die. The court called the incident “an error in judgment.”

The “brave new world” laid bare by the Groningen Protocols hardly bears contemplation. For when any innocent life – even that of the old, the sick, the weak and the mad – is held worthless, all innocent life is in jeopardy. With the Groningen Protocols, the Netherlands has taken a grisly step – reminding us all that, these days, death for the Dutch has become ever more about crossing the line, rather than Crossing the Bar. tOR

Columnist Carol Platt Liebau is a political analyst, commentator and editorial director based in San Marino, CA. Ms. Liebau also served as the first female managing editor of the Harvard Law Review. Her web log can be found at

copyright 2004


Blue Collar -  120x90
120x90 Jan 06 Brand
Free Trial Static 02
ActionGear 120*60
Free Trial Static 01
Applicable copyrights indicated. All other material copyright 2003-2005